Sundance 2017 kicks off on eve of Trump inauguration

Park City, Utah -- Legendary actor, director, activist and Sundance founder Robert Redford welcomed the world to the 33rd edition of the Sundance Film Festival here today at the Egyptian Theatre on Main St. as snow fell softly outside -- the day before Donald Trump is to be sworn in as president of the United States.

Questioners at the opening press conference focused on what the 180-degree change in America's political environment might have on film culture in general and Sundance in particular. But Redford repeatedly emphasized that Sundance has, since its inception, asked one main question: "What is the story?"

"We don't occupy ourselves with politics," Redford said. "We stay focused on the story. We are here to support the stories being told."

Sundance director John Cooper concurred when asked what impact the Trump White House would have going forward. "We are going to do what we've always done," he said. "Tell the stories."

Let the stories begin.

M.L. Bream/Night Vision

Sundance Institute president and founder Robert Redford, second from right, speaks at the opening press conference for Sundance 2017 at the Egyptian Theatre on Main St. in Park City, Utah Thursday.

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© 2016 M.L. Bream